In case you care, Thursday, May 4, is the National Day of Prayer.Since 1952, the occasion has become an annual tradition.
Well before President Harry Truman proclaimed a prayer day, Americans sought grace and favor On High during times of great danger. Born out of a revolt against the loss of God-given rights, such days are not new in American history. Our forebears left a rich legacy of calling for divine aid to preserve or restore peace and liberty.
A few examples may suffice:
— On May 24, 1774, months after the Boston Tea Party and the British lockdown of Boston harbor, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed a resolution setting “the first day of June … as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, devoutly to implore the Divine interposition, for averting the heavy calamity which threatens destruction to our civil rights.”
— The following year, as relations between Great Britain and the American Colonies neared a breaking point, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress felt a need for help from the Highest Power. Watching Britain’s military buildup for a war against its own subjects, on April 15, 1775, the colonial body designated May 11 as a day of fasting and prayer.
“In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments, … to confess our sins … to implore the Forgiveness of all our Transgression,” the Congress declared.
Just four days later, the battles of Lexington and Concord, including “the shot heard ’round the world,” opened a war that our fledgling nation could have lost to the world’s superpower of that age.
— Just days before the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Continental Congress followed up with an appeal to Heaven. On June 12, the Congress set July 12 “as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer,” and urged colonists to, “with united hearts and voices, unfeignedly confess and deplore our many sins and offer up our joint supplications to the All-wise, Omnipotent and merciful Disposer of all Events … to forgive our iniquities.”
Did the Almighty hear and heed the prayers of those humble Americans?
What about us?
Are we too “sophisticated” to drop to our knees and concede our failings? Are we too “progressive” to bow our heads in gratitude for our blessings?
A few weeks ago, World Net Daily founder and editor Joseph Farah challenged readers to consider what they would do if the world ends today.
“Would you go to church?” Farah asked.
“Would you go to the beach?
“Would you say a prayer and get your Bible out?
“Would you act out on your most lustful and carnal desires?” he continued.
”Some day,” Farah concluded, “the world as we know it is going to end.”
The good news, he noted, is that a better world will follow — thanks to its Creator.
A final thought on the National Day of Prayer: If you knew your country would end soon, would it change how you think, act, treat others — and pray?